GeekDad Review: ‘PONG Quest’ for Nintendo Switch

Gaming Videogames

Sometimes it is fun to go back to the classics, and that is exactly what the game PONG Quest is all about.

Images from Atari

What Is PONG Quest?

First of all, PONG Quest doesn’t take itself too seriously and I recommend you take a similar approach to it. This is a game that is all about nostalgia, a bit of fun, and the occasional nod to various Atari classic games. PONG Quest is essentially the game of PONG, sightly updated with modern graphics and new ball capabilities, wrapped in a dungeon crawler story format.

Gameplay

The main portion of the game is a quest mode in which you, a sentient being in the form of a PONG paddle, go on a quest at the request of a king to make your way through four separate dungeons. As you explore each room of each dungeon, you come across other paddle characters. Some of these characters give you clues, some ask for your help, and others will challenge you to a game of PONG (or something else entirely) if you get too close.

The PONG battles operate much like the game of classic PONG, but with a few twists. First, each time a ball is received by you or your opponent, the player receiving the ball has their health decremented. This gameplay element helps keep the individual PONG matches down in length and adds some urgency for you to strategize on how to finish off your opponent more quickly. That is where the other major gameplay element comes in, the various types of balls. You can acquire PONG balls with special abilities in several ways in the game. The primary way is by defeating an opponent in a game of PONG where you get the remainder of his ball inventory. But you can also purchase various balls throughout the dungeons and come across them in the treasure chests you find. Each special ball has different abilities, like the Potion ball, which adds back to your health when used, and the Zip ball, which speeds up the velocity of the ball. You can even get a variety of balls that add in barriers or shields in front of your pong paddle to aid you during your battles.

Some of the special ability PONG balls are pretty darn cool and certainly bring a new dynamic to the game (Image Fromm Atari)

Game Modes

There are several different game modes besides the quest mode I described above and they are:

  •  Local Battle Mode: Battle with your family and friends against each other using the same Nintendo Switch (with multiple paddles) with all the new game mechanics mentioned above
  • Online Mode: Allows you to play the modernized PONG game with online opponents (requires a Nintendo Switch Online subscription)
  • Local Classic Mode: Of course you can play the classic game of PONG with the same basic rules (and the awesome retro graphics)
I gotta say, classic PONG on the Switch is pretty sweet! (Image by Skip Owens)

Verdict

PONG Quest is not your typical Nintendo Switch game or console game. As I mentioned above, PONG Quest doesn’t take itself too seriously, and because of that, the game has a lot of character with silliness abounding—front the names of the enemies you encounter to the way your paddle hops as he/she traverses through the dungeons. The basic quest mode is pretty straight forward and because of that, there is not a lot of replay potential. However, when you consider the ability for local and online multiplayer and the classic game of PONG, you really do get a lot of gaming options for your buck with this one. But that being said, the game isn’t very challenging, so don’t come into this thinking this your next big gaming mountain to climb. Think of it more like a fun short stroll nostalgia lane.  If you are a fan of PONG or just itching for a retro game with a new twist then PONG Quest is certainly worth a look.

PONG Quest is available for purchase now from the Nintendo eShop (here or on your Nintendo Switch), for PC on Steam, and is also available for Xbox One and PS4 for $14.99.

Disclaimer: I was provided a game code for the purpose of this review, but Atari had no input into the review content.

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